Opening Night: A Taste of Sundance presented by IMDbPro

Event Details

Join us for Sundance Institute’s Opening Night: A Taste of Sundance presented by IMDbPro. 

Get ready to celebrate the Sundance Institute and artists changing the face of independent cinema, while kicking off the 2023 Film Festival.

Join us to honor Ryan Coogler, Nikyatu Jusu, W. Kamau Bell, and others, while we gather back in Utah to eat, drink, and enjoy a memorable evening uplifting filmmakers and the incredible stories they bring to life. 

A Taste of Sundance will raise crucial funds for the essential work Sundance Institute does year round — grants, mentorships, critical resources and hosting the Festival where new voices are discovered and launched — all made possible from the generosity of our donor community.

Reserve your table or seat today to help amplify independent storytellers and advance the impact of their work in the world. 

We look forward to seeing you at our 2023 Opening Night celebration at the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse on January 19 starting at 7 pm. The dinner and program will begin at 8:30pm.

We also encourage you to select a film from any of the screenings from Day One to attend earlier or later that evening. Schedules will be available on December 13. 

For any questions, please reach out to: openingnight@sundance.org

Honorees

Sundance Institute | Variety Visionary Award

The first annual Sundance Institute | Variety Visionary Award recognizes a notable Sundance Institute alumni who is deeply connected to the organization and its programs, and has proceeded to establish an extraordinary career that personifies a unique perspective and embodies a commitment to impactful storytelling. The inaugural award is being given to an individual who fully embodies our commitment to impactful storytelling: Ryan Coogler, the writer-director-producer of Fruitvale Station, Creed, Black Panther, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Ryan Coogler, writer-director-producer of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"

Vanguard Awards presented by Acura

The annual Vanguard Awards, presented by Acura, will be given during the evening, honoring artists whose work highlights the art of storytelling and creative independence in both nonfiction and fiction. The Vanguard Award for nonfiction will be presented to W. Kamau Bell, director of We Need to Talk About Cosby, and the Vanguard Award for fiction will go to Nikyatu Jusu, director of Nanny. Kamau and Nikyatu join the likes of past honorees such as Ryan Coogler (who received the award in 2013), Siân Heder, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Radha Blank, Lulu Wang, Dee Rees, Damien Chazelle, Marielle Heller, Benh Zeitlin, Boots Riley, and many more.

Nikyatu Jusu, director of "Nanny"
W. Kamau Bell, director of "We Need to Talk About Cosby"

Additional honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.

Artists

The artists joining us on this special evening are standout filmmakers, playwrights, actors, and musicians who have been supported by Sundance Institute and whose new work we can’t wait to see. This year’s attending artists will be announced soon.

Catalyst

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Creative Distribution

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Creative Producing

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Tickets & Packages

CHAMPION TABLE—$30,000

($28,000 is a charitable contribution)

  • ONE TABLE WITH VIP PLACEMENT CLOSE TO STAGE for 10 guests
  • Line listing on event promotional emails distributed to over 10,000 Sundance supporters
  • Line listing on event webpage on Sundance.org
  • Verbal recognition during dinner program
  • Line listing recognition on screen during program
  • Line listing in the Sundance Film Festival Catalog*
    • *if purchased by December 5, 2022
  • Line listing in on-site digital program

ADVOCATE TABLE—$20,000

($18,000  is a charitable contribution)

  • ONE TABLE WITH PREMIUM PLACEMENT for 10 guests
  • Line listing on event promotional emails distributed to over 10,000 Sundance supporters
  • Line listing on event webpage on Sundance.org
  • Line listing recognition on screen during program
  • Line listing in the Sundance Film Festival Catalog*
    • *if purchased by December 5, 2022
  • Line listing in on-site digital program

INDIVIDUAL TICKET—$1,500

($1,300  is a charitable contribution)

  • ONE TICKET for the dinner and program
  • Line listing in on-site digital program

Supporters

Presenting Sponsor

Lead Sponsor

Vanguard Award Sponsor

Acura logo text

Visionary Award & Media Sponsor

Event Chairs:

Ebs Burnough

Donna Gruneich

About

About Your Contribution

The Sundance Film Festival is one of the many programs offered by the nonprofit Sundance Institute. Your ticket purchase to the Sundance Film Festival’s Opening Night: A Taste of Sundance event includes a contribution to Sundance Institute and directly supports independent artists through resources such as labs, grants, and fellowships. Working to advance the impact of artists and their work in society while introducing audiences to their new work, the Institute seeks to discover, support, and inspire independent film and media artists from the United States and around the world. Through all of its activities, the Institute fosters originality, authenticity, and diversity in storytelling.

Gifts to Sundance Institute are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Opening Night Film Tickets

As you’re planning your schedule for Day One and attending the Opening Night Fundraising Event, check back here to purchase a ticket to a Day One screening when we publish our screening schedule on December 13th. If you possess a pass, all screenings are available to you.

Contact

Contact Information

To reserve your tickets or request additional information, please contact us at (646) 822-9564 or openingnight@sundance.org.

Accessibility and Community Agreement

The Sundance Institute is committed to ensuring our events are as accessible as possible for everyone who attends. If any accommodation would support your full participation in this event, please contact us via our Accommodation Request Form to describe your specific request. Every effort will be made to accommodate advance requests; requests made within seven days of the event may not be guaranteed.

We thank you for doing your part in creating an inclusive environment that is welcoming to all by refraining  from hate speech and sustained disruption of events. We also ask that you prioritize community health by refraining from attending events when you feel unwell. For more information on our Community Agreement and how to report violations, visit us at festival.sundance.org/community-agreement